Alessio: If Juventus are predictable, so are Barcelona

The Bianconeri assistant coach dismisses claims his team cannot change their line-up or formation, and says the side must play to win against Shakhtar Donetsk
Juventus assistant coach Angelo Alessio has responded to Shakhtar Donetsk trainer Mircea Lucescu's claims that The Old Lady are predictable by saying that the Turin outfit's regular set-up is similar to Barcelona's approach.

Lucescu claimed that Antonio Conte's team were easy to play against as they rarely change their formation or starting line-up, but Alessio feels that his players should concentrate on booking their place in the Champions League knockout stages and not react to comments from the opposition.

"He can say we’re predictable, but we create many scoring opportunities. In that case let’s call Barcelona predictable – the same 11 play pretty much all the time and everyone knows the style of football they propose, yet they are the best team of recent years," Alessio told a press conference.

"Lucescu’s words remain just that: words. We are extremely concentrated on this match and absolutely want to reach the next round of the Champions League."

Juventus head into the match in Ukraine knowing that a draw will guarantee both them and Shakhtar a place in the last 16 of the competition, but Alessio wants the team to play an attacking style and try to win the match.

"We’ll be facing the toughest side in the group, as they are the leaders, but we have improved and can get a result.

“We cannot play for a draw and count on being able to get two results. We’ve got to take the game to Shakhtar and play the way we know how. We must fight for every single ball."

Wednesday's match marks the end of Alessio's time as Conte's representative on the touchline, with the head coach set to make his return to the dugout against Palermo on Sunday, but the 47-year-old says the players must focus on their next match before looking forward to their trainer's return.

"We are very happy at Antonio’s impending return, but right now we are all exclusively focused on this match."

He added: "Giorgio Chiellini trained yesterday and is regularly at our disposal. Antonio will then decide the starting 11 tomorrow."